Earth Day 2014: Vernon FFA (Fla.) Tackles River Cleanup

Editor’s Note: FFA members care about their education, their community and their environment. On Earth Day 2014, here’s one story about an FFA chapter making a difference in all three areas. This story is adapted from an article appearing in the winter 2014 edition of New Visions — the official newsletter of the National FFA Alumni Association.

Holmes River

Holmes River

At the heart of Washington County, Fla., is the Holmes River. Locally called “Holmes Creek,” the natural waterway is the center of community activities for boaters, fishermen, canoers and kayakers and swimmers. It flows for miles through the county, beginning as a tiny stream and continuing to grow as it is fed along the way by several springs.

Holmes Creek is often filled with boaters, fishermen, kayakers and swimmers, depending on the season. ‘Going to the creek’ is probably the favorite recreation for most of the youth in and around the town of Vernon. It also draws visitors from surrounding counties. Continue reading

Vote FFA in Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship Film Festival

Video is a stirring communication tool, and it’s one that the Boston College Center for Corportate Citizenship wants to recognize as a way to show the difference people can make around them. National FFA Foundation platinum sponsor CSX took that challenge to heart and produced a beautiful video featuring FFA members making a difference at last fall’s 86th National FFA Convention & Expo.

Watch here:

Now, CSX is hoping to spread the message of FFA members playing a pivotal role in supporting National Safe Place (with the assistance of City Year and Dignity U Wear) in the BCCCC Film Festival. You can help by voting for the video now:

Voting ends February 7.

The project, held as part of National Days of Service at the 2013 convention, was not an easy one for the FFA volunteers. Continue reading

Living to Serve: Environmental Grant webinars

Johnson County FFA

It pays to go green!

Learn more about how your chapter can secure a $2,000 grant for tackling an environmental issue in your community through one of our free webinars.

During each one-hour session, we’ll discuss project ideas and tips for filling out the online application.

Webinars will offered every Thursday starting this week (May 2) through the first week of June.

The webinars will last approximately one hour. Participation is not mandatory for those applying for the Living to Serve Environmental Grant, but is encouraged.

Register today!






TWOLO! (The World Only Lives Once)

Mount Dora

Members of Mount Dora FFA chapter in Florida put an interesting twist on a popular slogan to help teach their community about the importance of recycling.

“YOLO” stands for “You Only Live Once.” “TWOLO,” according the Mount Dora members,  means “The World Only Lives Once,” so we better take care of it the best we can.

The members wanted to get this message out to the public, so they applied and received a Living to Serve: Environmental Grant. The grant gave them the funding they needed to develop materials and implement a recycling program.

To help get their message out to the public, they wrote and recorded a rap song. They also designed artwork for signs and handouts and developed lesson plans for elementary, middle school and high school students.

You may think that with all the time they were putting into their educational efforts, they’d have little time left to actually implement a recycling program. But, the students also worked with the City of Mount Dora to select the appropriate recycling containers and manage the collection of recyclable materials for their schools and the downtown area.

While the community was learning about the importance of recycling, the students were learning some important lessons of their own. From the “artists” to the singers, to the poets and the planners, everyone soon found they had gifts, talents, and ideas to contribute to the cause. And, they learned all about problem solving, planning and collaboration — lessons that help them to continue to make a difference in their communities, long after they leave high school and FFA.

Does your chapter have a great idea for tackling an environmental issue? Mark your calendar for April 1, when the 2013 Living to Serve: Environmental Grant application will be available.

Environmental Grants are sponsored by CSX as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a minister and the leader of the U.S. Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and 60s.

Dr. King’s message was one of equality, civility and service to others. On this day and everyday, we encourage you to take the time to answer what Dr. King said was life’s most persistent and urgent question:

What are you doing for others?


Learn more about the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. in this video from

mlk video